What "Surface Washable" Means, and How to Clean your Stuffed Animals and Plush

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Often when looking at new plush, you'll find the words "surface washable" on its tag. While you might not think much of it then, once it receive lots of love and inevitably gets dirty, you'll probably realize you have little to no clue as to what that even means.

Fortunately, it's actually not as complicated as you would have imagined.


What Surface Washable Means

"Surface Washable," for the most part, means that you can wash and gently clean the stuffed animal/plush on the outside with water and soap (although some more powerful cleaning agents may affect the material).

While this can help clean up some surface stains and dirt, people often want to give their fluffy friend a more thorough and deep wash, as many cute plush puppies have received lots of love over the years from not so hygienic babies..

 Surface Washable Cleaning Plush Stuffed Animals Aurora World


Going Past Surface Washable - Can You Put Stuffed Animals in Washing Machines?

Depending on the plush itself, you could give it a more vigorous hand scrub or even throw it in the washing machine. Unfortunately, there are some plush that cannot survive a washing machine cycle without losing some of their precious fur and taking significant damage, which makes it somewhat of a risk. 

For example, a plush with a lot of removable parts and decorations would most lose those parts during the wash. There are steps you can take to lessen the impact in the machine such as wrapping it with other soft clothes and putting in a larger load to reduce overall movement. It is for this reason that many 


What About Taking Stuffed Animals To The Cleaners?

You will actually need to be careful, as many cleaners are not experienced in cleaning stuffed animals and will treat them the same as the clothes that they often clean. Unfortunately, there are many agents and ingredients used in dry cleaning that can prove extremely detrimental to plush. If you want to take your plush into a dry cleaners, you should first check with the manufacturer whether they recommend it. You should also call the cleaners and make sure that they have worked with similar products before.


In the end, the safest bet is to hand wash your plush with a gentle cleaning agent. If you find this insufficient, double check on the stuffed animal's tag and with the manufacturer if possible as to what methods would work best. Be sure to check with machines and cleaning services to make sure that they do not use any materials/techniques harmful to plush. Alternatively, if you want your plush doll to last for years, you may want to consider buying a spare plush, as the investment can help save a lot of headache further down the road.


1 comment

  • Posted on by Kervin

    What a blog post, I was searching for a baby elephant stuffed animal and found here great washing tips. Really thanks for sharing.

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